Women And The Texts Of Scripture Essay

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Bart Ehrman: Women and the Texts of Scripture In his chapter titled “The Social Worlds of the Text”, Bart Ehrman first deals with women’s roles in the church. Ehrman believes that Jesus and Paul originally emancipated women in such roles but later alterations sought to restrict women in ministry. The main areas of Scripture that Ehrman deals with are Galatians, 1 Timothy, and 1 Corinthians. Jesus and even Paul, though still adhering to certain aspects of patriarchy, had promoted the role of women. However a number of later textual alterations seek to restrict women's roles. Ehrman’s basic argument involving women’s roles in the church originates from seemingly contradicting statements supposedly written by Paul. He concludes that these contradictions were later added by scribes, rather than Paul, thus supporting his argument that the Bible is unreliable. Even though Jesus’ twelve disciples were men, we have reason to believe that women accompanied him on his travels. These women provided for him and his disciples financially and acted as patrons. They “accompanied Jesus during his final trip to Jerusalem, where they were present at his crucifixion and where they alone remained faithful to him at the end, when the male disciples had fled.”[1] Women, such as Mary Magdalene, were the first people to know of Jesus’ resurrection. The reason the gospel is so appealing to women is because the gospel is “for the poor, the sick, and the outcast.”[2] Women were considered the lowliest of people. The earliest Christian writers, including Paul, mention women as being important. “It is clear that women were seen as in no way inferior to their male counterparts in the church.”[3] One woman, Phoebe, was given the responsibility of carrying his letter to Rome, was a minister in the church, and lastly Paul’s own patron. Women, in short, appeared to have played a
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